Task Force Members Sandeep Prasad, Gita Sen and Mona Zulficar served on the Reference Group and Marijke Wijnroks served as Chair of the ICPD Beyond 2014 International Human Rights Conference in The Hague July 7-10, where over 300 representatives from 130 countries, from government, UN agencies and civil society, including human rights defenders and members of academia, gathered to identify key achievements, barriers and emerging challenges to delivering the goals of the ICPD, from a human rights perspective. The issues identified at the conference will contribute to the global assessment of the ICPD Programme of Action.
Key messages from the conference, as outlined in Wijnroks “Chair’s Reflections”, reflect many of the Task Force’s principles and make “it clear that we still have unfinished business” in meeting commitments to the ICPD agenda. These messages emphasize that:
- Gender equality is a prerequisite for advancing women’s and girls’ human rights – including eliminating violence against women and girls, ending discrimination and harmful practices, such as child marriage, and engaging men and boys to be champions of ending gender-based violence and discrimination.
- Sexual and reproductive rights are human rights and belong to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion or any other status, and cannot be violated in the name of any culture, religion or tradition.
- Enabling environments must be created to ensure that everyone – particularly women, adolescents and youth – are empowered to claim and exercise these rights.
The Task Force also welcomes the participants’ calls for:
- Equality – including removing the barriers women and girls living in poverty face in exercising their sexual and reproductive rights, and ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Quality of care – including sexual and reproductive health information and services and comprehensive sexuality education, and,
- Accountability – including States’ responsibility to prevent human rights violations and to enact policies with clear goals and budgets that can be monitored.
To read more about the ICPD Beyond 2014 Human Rights conference, including video and audio, background papers and speeches, and contributions by Task Force Member Gita Sen, visit the conference website. The Hague Civil Society Call to Action on Human Rights and ICPD Beyond 2014 petition is available here.
This was the second global thematic conference to take place as part of the review of the ICPD Programme of Action. Follow these links to read more about the Task Force’s participation in the first global thematic conference, the Bali Global Youth Forum, and the ICPD regional review conferences in Europe and Central Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Task Force’s ICPD Beyond 2014 policy positions can be viewed here.
- Conference background paper by Gita Sen:
‘Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Post 2015 Development Framework’
- The Hague Civil Society Call to Action on Human Rights and ICPD Beyond 2014